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Herbarium Stetinense

Established in 2013 by Professor Adam Zając, Professor emeritus of the Jagiellonian University, and Professor Agnieszka Popiela from the Szczecin University. The herbarium consists of the following collections: SZUB vascular plant herbarium, SZUB-Lichen lichen herbarium, SZUB-F mushroom herbarium and German historical collections (1837-1939). The Herbarium Stetinense currently contains about 55 thousand specimens, including about 6 thousand mushrooms and 8 thousand lichens.

Mgr Bartosz Kurnicki – pracownik naukowy Herbarium Stetinense

Herbarium Stetinense is the first herbarium in the history of Szczecin to be registered in the Index Herbariorum (http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/IndexHerbariorum.asp). It serves as the only synthetic source about vascular plants, bryophytes and fungi of Western Pomerania. It is the only evidence of the current and historical composition of the flora and mycobiota, a source of information on the biodiversity of Western Pomerania, a source of material for taxonomic, morphological, anatomical, ecological research, etc., a source of DNA in molecular systematics, as well as a source playing an important role in assessing the degree of hazard during the development of biodiversity protection programmes. The Convention on Biological Diversity (OJ L 184, 1532, 6.11.2002) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (12.12.1989) highlight the importance of herbariums in many respects.

As with all museum collections, herbarium collections are becoming more and more valuable with age. A well-made herbarium is a timeless document, it never ages, on the contrary – its value increases with age. As the natural environment continues to deteriorate and many species are exterminated, with the widespread introduction of ubiquitous alien (adventitious) species into native flora, herbarium is the only source available for verification and comparative studies of data on the taxonomy and geography of plants and fungi.  Specimens should be kept for an indefinite period and must have appropriate housing conditions: this requires special procedures, materials and equipment. Herbarium sheets and envelopes of lichen materials and fungi are stored in special sealed metal cabinets. Freezing treatments are carried out periodically to further minimise the degradation and damage to herbarium materials. Air dehumidifiers have been installed in the room. The risk of fungal and insect infestation is reduced by constant humidity and temperature control.

The historical collections of German scientists and the valuable collections of Polish scientists studying Pomerania after 1945 are of particular value (e.g. German collections from the 19th century, Baenitz herbarium, Professor Ćwikliński’s herbarium, herbarium of Professor Stefan Kownas, and herbarium of Professor Marian Ciaciura). Of special taxonomic importance and unique in Poland are the scientific collections, e.g. Carex group flava, Elatinaceae, peatbog species of Pomerania, macro and microscopic fungi (see below), Opegrapha s.l., xerothermic lichens of Pomerania, lichens of the Bukowa Forest, Drawieński and Woliński National Parks, Goleniowska Forest and Wkrzańska Forest. Many of them are reference specimens quoted in numerous publications.  In addition to the Pomeranian collection, SZUB-Lichen herbarium contains a unique collection from Armenia (collections from areas that have not been identified yet in terms of lichen biota). About 80% of the collections come from Western Pomerania, the rest from other areas of Poland, as well as from Scandinavia (Bornholm, Norway), the Mediterranean (Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Apennine Peninsula, Peloponnese), Armenia and Russia (lichens). The herbarium of fungi – SZUB-F – has in its resources about 6 thousand specimens of macromycetes and micromycetes, collected since 1989, mainly in Pomerania and in other regions of Poland. It contains rich collections of macroscopic mushrooms from the beech forests of the Iński Landscape Park and Woliński National Park, as well as the largest collections of mushrooms from high and transitional peatlands in Poland, mainly from the north-western part of Poland. The herbarium contains specimens of very rare and endangered fungi, not only in Poland, but also in Europe or the world, which have been proposed for inclusion into the Global Red List of Mushrooms.  The mushroom collections collected in the herbarium are not only the material documenting the field research, but can also be used for comparative research, monographic studies of types and families, or biota of mushrooms in Poland or other regions of the world. Obtaining fungal fruitbodies is sometimes very difficult, due to the specific biology of these organisms. It consists of a hidden form of life of a mycelium and a periodical, usually short-term, formation of sporocarp, by which the presence of a fungus can be detected and identified. The specific biology of fungi and the large number of similar species make it very difficult to identify them. The collected materials in the form of dried specimens may be used to verify the correctness of the determination, e.g. by molecular methods.

Herbarium Stetinense założone w 2013 r przez prof. dr hab. Adama Zająca, em. prof. Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego i prof. dr hab. Agnieszkę Popielę z Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. W skład herbarium wchodzą kolekcje: zielnik roślin naczyniowych SZUB, zielnik porostów SZUB-Lichen, zielnik grzybów SZUB-F oraz zbiory niemieckie historyczne (1837-1939). W zasobach Herbarium Stetinense znajduje się obecnie ok. 55 tys. okazów, w tym ok. 6 tys. grzybów i 8 tys. porostów.